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      Egyptian Protesters Call to Sever Ties with Israel

      Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo and demanded that Egypt sever ties with Israel and end gas exports to it.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 4/28/2011, 3:17 AM / Last Update: 4/28/2011, 3:12 AM

      Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the Israeli embassy in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, on Wednesday and demanded that Egypt sever ties with Israel and end gas exports to it, AFP reported.

      According to the report, the protesters got together on a bridge next to the high-rise building where the embassy is located and chanted: “the people demand the cancellation of normalization” as well as “the gas must stop,” referring to Egypt’s exports of natural gas to Israel.

      One of the protesters was left-wing blogger Hossam el-Hamalawy, who claimed the demonstration came in response to recent remarks by Israeli President Shimon Peres, who praised the Egyptian revolt that toppled the government in February and caused former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

      AFP quoted el-Hamalawy as saying that “Peres issued a statement recently calling on Egyptian youth to normalize (with Israel), and this is the Egyptian youth's response.”

      The protest started from nearby Cairo University and was the latest in a series of protests outside the embassy since Mubarak’s resignation, noted the report.

      The protest came after earlier in the day terrorists attacked the Egyptian-Israeli gas pipeline, halting supplies to Israel. It was the third attack on the pipeline in the last few months. The blast, near El-Arish and approximately 30 miles south of the Israeli border, forced the evacuation of nearby residents from their homes. The gas was shut off from Port Said to prevent continuing fires from the gas that had escaped from the pipeline after the attack.

      Hamalawy told AFP that the protesters were heartened by the sabotage of the pipeline, which supplies Israel as well as Jordan.

      “Obviously everyone is celebrating. If the government won't cut it off, the people will,” he was quoted as saying.

      A poll whose results were released earlier this week found that 54 percent of Egyptians want to break the peace treaty with Israel, which has been in place since 1979.